AS four-wheel drive icons go, and let’s face it, there aren’t many of those, the 2020 Suzuki Jimny ticks a lot of boxes. Inspired by the cubist shape of its Sierra predecessor, it’s the fun-size off roader with a big heart.
At first glance you might be second guessing the capabilities of the little “zook”, with its adorable smile grille, tidy looking alloy wheels and throwback dash, that harks back to the Jimny models that have come before it.
It brings back memories of camping trips and memories of watching the old Jimny out gun some much bigger 4WDs. But before we get carried away on a nostalgia trip, let’s talk about the new Jimny, because this is 2020.
It’s powered by a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine, producing a reliable 75kW of power and 130Nm of torque to push it along nicely. It’s paired with a 5-speed manual (an auto is also available), and punches out a tidy 6.4-litres/100km in the fuel economy stakes.
The beauty of the Jimny is its dual range gearbox, which provides torque whenever you need it, on or off the road. It’s light too, weighing in at just 1068kg, which is great for off road rock climbing.
And to top it all off, there are coil springs and a live axle, along with a ladder frame chassis, making it a pint sized beast in the dirt.
The downside is that on the open road, at speed, it can feel a little unstable, especially when you’ve hit the accelerator to pass a B-double. You’ll learn to embrace the uniqueness of the Jimny in that regard by allowing more passing room.
On the inside, you’ll find an easy to use infotainment system, climate control, cruise control, automatic wipers, forward collision warning, brake assist, a rear camera, and automatic lights. There’s four seats too.
Look, here’s the thing, the Jimny has room in the back for two adults, but we wouldn’t be volunteering for a long distance trip, if we were in the back. It is, shall we say, a little on the cosy side.
The volume of boot space is another issue, especially when you have the 50/50 split fold rear seats up. It doesn’t allow for much storage. Turned into a two seater though, when you drop the seats, and there’s room for a fridge and a tent, maybe a camping chair.
But it’s off road where the pint sized SUV comes into its own. The capabilities of the Jimny have remained as impressive as the previous generations, and if anything Suzuki has improved on them.
We threw some challenging tracks at it and not once did it struggle, although lifting a wheel off the ground might make the novice off-roader panic a little. But for those with experience, you’ll absolutely love how much fun the Jimny is over the rough stuff.
Hill descent control works a treat too. Back on the black stuff, you’ll feel the bumps in the road, but the way the steering is you’ll completely forget that the Jimny is a pure 4×4. It works perfectly around town, with its unique box shape attracting attention too.
Overall, Suzuki has harnessed the deep heritage of the Jimny model, creating a compact SUV that’s a good all-rounder. It does struggle at speeds above 100km/h and on the open road though, mostly because it revs very hard. It does feel like you’re ringing its neck.
Where it does win, is that it’s cheap on fuel, quirky to look at, capable off road, and super reliable. That might explain why demand is high for the little 4×4 too. As well as Kinetic Yellow, it also comes in White, Jungle Green and Medium Grey.
Two combination colours are also available in the form of Chiffon Ivory Metallic with Bluish Black Pearl roof, and Brisk Blue Metallic with Bluish Black Pearl roof. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 5-years capped price servicing.
Complimentary roadside assist for the same period is also included. It’s priced at $25,990 plus on-roads.
Our test vehicle was provided by Suzuki Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Suzuki Jimny, contact your local Suzuki dealer.